Dear brothers and sisters,

“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:1-2)

Lent is here. Ash Wednesday has launched
another forty day period of purification. Once again as a
family of disciples of the Son of God, we have entered
into a sacred time of purification, the purification of our
minds, our hearts, our bodies, our whole being for the love
of God for His own sake.
God is the purpose of Lent. To love Him above all
things. Loving God for His own sake, not for conditions,
not for gifts that He gives, but for Him alone. To love Him
like Jesus loves Him. To love Him totally, completely for
His own sake. To love Him in the Spirit.
This is impossible. For us. On our own. Yet on a
daily basis, during Lent, and throughout our lives, we will
be tempted to do it on our own. Our egos will try anyway
to purify itself, its own love for God. We will always try
to save ourselves. And fail.
We have been trying since the Fall. Failing since
and Fall. Falling since the Fall. There is no fighting and
conquering gravity. Gravity will always win pulling us
down, and keeping us down. Sin and death are what keeps
us away from God. Separation is that gravity that no one
can overcome.
To acknowledge this is the first grace that the
Father’s presence effects in us. Yes the Father has come
down to us, descended to us in our fallen and ever-falling
state. In sending His Son to us, the Father has given us all
of Himself, His Son. His Son is all of Himself, His whole
Life.
To the depths of our fallen nature, our fallen and
ever-falling souls, God the Father has descended in His
Son. The Son now experiences with us and for us all the
temptations of our fallen egos that are constantly misled
by the eternally fallen ego of Satan.
Satan has so successfully brainwashed us,
programmed us into his own likeness, his own selfish
nature of just doing things for ourselves, saving ourselves,
preserving ourselves and determining for ourselves who
we are and to be whatever we decide we want to be.
So in his egotistical intelligence, he daily tempts
us to satisfy our own hunger, our every appetite with
whatever bread, food, that God Himself has given us.
‘ Take the bread, whatever bread, food, gift you
choose, forget God the Giver of gifts, and the ultimate
Bread, Eucharist, Jesus, the Word of God that proceeds
from the mouth of God, that Bread that will actually lift
you up, the Bread that will defy the gravity of separation
to lift you up into communion with the Father from whom
you have fallen, for whom you are truly hungry.
Satan daily succeeds in tempting us to take the
kingdoms of the world, to settle only for this world and all
its riches and wealth and prosperity where we worship
him and his will of rejecting God forever and to be further
dragged down by the gravity of self-seeking, other-
bashing existence. We fall for this every day.
He wants us to reject the Kingdom where He who
is King wills to sacrifice Himself for His children, empty
Himself for them, die for them and with them so that He
may rise with them.
This is the kingdom where, on the cross, the Son
does not preserves His own life and forgets His brothers
and sisters, but rather a Kingdom where His Father and He
empty themselves for us, unto us who have fallen from the
parapets of the Temple, saving us from dashing ourselves
on the rocks of hell, of utter separation and raising us up
into perfect communion with each God and each other.
Lent is allowing our Father to love us back to
Himself through His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit
who is Love itself. Holy Trinity, purify us, save us,
reconcile us.

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